About This Program

Degree Earned

You'll earn a PhD in Physical Education.

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The PhD program in Physical Education at Springfield College is one of approximately 25 programs in the United States, and the only one housed at a small to medium-sized college.  This niche allows graduates of the program to be uniquely prepared to fill gaps in the job market.  Specifically, graduates are well-positioned to attain and flourish in faculty and athletic leadership positions in higher education.  The curriculum, experiences, and nature of the bachelor's and master's programs at Springfield College combine to support the success of doctoral students.

The Ph.D. in Physical Education curriculum includes a choice of tracks in Physical Education Teacher Education, Athletic Administration, or the flexible General Studies.  From there, students engage in a rigorous research sequence culminating in the dissertation in a student-identified area of interest.  Another element of choice is the cognate, in which students explore a selected focus area within physical education such as adapted physical education, ethical and legal dimensions, or psychosocial aspects.  A final curricular highlight is the Preparing Future Faculty series where students examine the roles and responsibilities of faculty.  The timing of courses allows for full-time or part-time study, and options for courses in the fall, spring, and summer.

Experiences within the program include field time, academic and social gatherings, research collaborations, and interactions with peers who have taught, coached, or led in a variety of settings. Students are also encouraged to apply for teaching fellowships to further build competence and confidence in faculty responsibilities.

Key to the structure of the doctoral program is the relationship to the bachelor's and master's programs in Physical Education and Athletic Administration.  These programs are well-renowned and offer doctoral students opportunities to mentor, teach, and supervise student teachers while receiving guidance and feedback from a faculty member.

Recent graduates of the Ph.D. program have landed positions as faculty and administrators in higher education across the United States and around the world.  Many are seen presenting at national and international conferences and publishing their work in academic journals.

 

Admissions Requirements

This program enrolls students in the fall term only.

Complete the application form. No application fee.

Start your application process by completing the online application form. Be sure to complete your application by submitting all the required materials outlined in this section. 

Graduate Admissions Essay

Once your application form is processed you will receive an email with your application portal login credentials. Once you login to your application portal you'll be able to upload your essay.

In two to three double-spaced pages, please describe significant life experiences that have contributed to your interest in your field, your understanding of this field, your occupational objectives, and why you have chosen Springfield College. 

Resume

Please include any college activities, out-of-school leadership experiences, work history, and community involvement to support your interest in or qualifications for graduate study. Once your application form is processed you will receive an email with your application portal login credentials. Once you login to your application portal you'll be able to upload your resume

Letters of Recommendation

This program requires three letters of recommendation. Recommenders will receive an email when you submit your application and will be able to upload your letter to your application.

Interview

This program requires an interview.

Official Transcripts from All Institutions Previously/Currently Attended

  • An official transcript from each college/university you have attended is required.
  • Transcripts must be in English. If the transcript is not in English you will be required to submit a professional credential evaluation completed by any member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services. In some cases, including if you plan to request coursework be transferred, a course-by-course translation is required. For this we recommend the World Education Services or Josef Silny & Associates, Inc.
  • In order to be considered official, transcripts must be received directly from the original source, by email to graduate@springfield.edu, or mailed to the college address:

    Springfield College
    Office of Graduate Admissions
    263 Alden Street
    Springfield, MA 01109

International Applicants

All international applicants from non-English speaking countries are required, in addition to the items listed above, to submit:

  • Proof of English language proficiency by way of the TOEFL or IELTS. If your undergraduate degree was earned in the United States and you successfully completed College level English, we will consider English language proficiency met.
  • Please note: Transcripts must be in English. If the transcript is not in English you will be required to submit a professional credential evaluation completed by any member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services. In some cases, including if you plan to request coursework be transferred, a course-by-course translation is required. For this we recommend the World Education Services or Josef Silny & Associates, Inc.

Our Associate Director of International Admissions Nicholas Venn can answer any questions you may have about enrolling in Springfield College as an international student. You may email him at nvenn@springfield.edu or via phone at (413) 748-3891.

To submit materials:

After submitting your online application form you will receive user login credentials to access your student application portal. From that portal, you will be able to upload your graduate admissions essay and your resume. Recommenders will receive an email when you submit your application and will be able to upload your letter to your application. In order to be considered official, transcripts must be received directly from the original source, by email to graduate@springfield.edu, or mailed to the college address:

Springfield College
Office of Graduate Admissions
263 Alden Street
Springfield, MA 01109

Program Requirements (64 credits)


The Ph.D. program in Physical Education is designed to provide broad based preparation in the field of physical education and it offers students the opportunity to design a program of study to meet their educational goals. The intent of the program is to expose students to various sub-disciplines in the field from which they will build a specific area of research study. This preparation ensures a more holistic and inclusive view of physical education than is found in many programs where specialization in one area is the emphasis.

This approach to graduate education is in concert with the mission of the College, which advocates the education of the whole person in spirit, mind, and body for leadership in service to humanity. Graduates will have the necessary research expertise to continue as lifelong researchers and contributors to the body of knowledge in physical education. They will be prepared to teach in their research area as well as the various sub-disciplines at all educational levels. Graduates who have focused their studies in administration will be qualified to lead and develop programs in the private and public sectors. The completion of the program is viewed by the College as the first step taken by its graduates in assuming positions of leadership in the field of physical education.

Program of Study

The Ph.D. program in physical education consists of courses and learning experiences in the following areas:

Physical Education/Athletic Administration/ General Studies. This is the student’s field of professional specialization. A program of study provided by the physical education and health education, and exercise science and sport studies faculty will help the student attain a thorough preparation of high quality. The program includes course work in pedagogical content knowledge and issues in higher education designed to prepare Ph.D. students for entry to a higher education teaching career.

Research. Theory and practice in research are to include problems of logical and critical thinking, the scientific method, and techniques of research, as well as a piece of original research, the doctoral dissertation, conducted under faculty supervision. The dissertation is the crowning achievement of doctoral study. The problem selected should grow out of the candidate’s personal and professional interests. The dissertation may be an original contribution to knowledge or an original application of existing knowledge to the solution of a practical problem in the field.

General Education. Consistent with the Humanics philosophy, the educational program at Springfield College, both undergraduate and graduate, prepares students not only in their field of professional specialization, but also with liberal education, and personal growth and awareness of the surrounding social scene.  Consequently, the program includes a series of non-professional courses as an integral part of the program to help the student develop as a sensitive and growing person, as a sophisticated citizen, and as an educator with wide interests and goals. A minimum of six semester hours of exclusively graduate (600-level) general education courses are designated specifically in the college offerings as “Core courses”.

Preparing Future Faculty Series. Modeled after the preparing future faculty program designed by the Association of American Colleges and Universities, this series of coursework introduces students to academia; exposes students to the teaching, service, and scholarship responsibilities of faculty members; supports development of pedagogical skills and higher education settings; and aids the transition from doctoral student to faculty member.

Dissertation area. Where the general nature of the intended dissertation can be identified sufficiently early in a student’s program, course work and other registrations are recommended to enhance the student’s qualifications to conduct the dissertation.

Electives. Selection of electives provides effective support of the total Ph.D. program and results from consultation between the student and the advisor.

The actual number of semester hours is likely to be more than the minimum stated. Flexibility is encouraged to provide for the particular educational needs of each student. The requirements in each case will be determined not only on the extent of graduate credit accumulated, but with a view toward optimum preparation for the student in the intended field of service.

The allocation of semester hours of credit in the areas is as follows:

 

 

S.H.

Concentration area (Physical Education, Athletic Administration, General Studies 

24

Cognate

6

Research/Dissertation

25

Preparing Future Faculty Series

9

Minimum Total

64

Concentration Requirements (24 credits)


Students select from one of the following concentration areas:

A. Physical Education Teacher Education Track


B. Athletic Administration Track


C. General Studies Track


General Studies - students select 18 credits of coursework listed here, plus 6 credits of electives in consultation with the academic advisor.

Cognate Studies (6 credits)


Select a minimum of six credits from one of the following areas:

A. Adapted Physical Education


B. Health Promotion


C. Legal and Ethical Dimensions


D. Motor Behavior


Select any twp of the following:

E. Physiological Mechanisms


F. Psychosocial Aspects


Research (25 credits)


Preparing Future Faculty Series (9 credits)


View the catalog.

APPLY ONLINE

Applications are due by January 15. All required supporting materials are due by February 1.

Graduate Program Courses $1,105 per credit
Approximate total cost (64 credits) $70,720
Graduate Student Fee* $385
Enrollment Deposit $300

All approximate costs above are based on 2020-21 academic year costs.

*The graduate student fee (full time) includes the following costs for the 2020-21 academic year.

  • Student Government Fee: $20
  • Community Engagement Fee: $35
  • Recreation Fee: $315
  • Class Dues: $15

The graduate student fee (part-time) is $85 per semester.

VIEW ADDITIONAL FEES AND ESTIMATED INDIRECT EXPENSES

FELLOWSHIPS AND SCHOLARSHIPS

 

Fellowships & Scholarships

Let us help you make your graduate education as affordable as possible.

Student Employment

Work on our campus to earn money while pursuing your graduate degree.

AmeriCorps

Make a lasting impact on students' lives while helping to fund your education